Hello East Harris County and Crosby ISD families,
Welcome back! It filled my heart to see students return to class on Monday, August 7. We picked up right where we left off, with bell-to-bell instruction and slipping back into the routine of learning and growing.
This will be a year of transition as we move deeper into our hybrid Academic Calendar. Most Fridays will be designated as student holidays, from September 8, 2023 – April 12, 2024. We thought it might be handy to share the list of Fridays when students will be required to attend class: August 11, August 18, August 25, September 1, April 19, April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, and May 24.
As we unveiled the proposal for a 4-Day Instructional Week, we discussed the reason behind the plan. We wanted to have exceptional teachers in every classroom for our students. We see that it’s working. ISD has had a 70% improvement in filling teacher vacancies this year as compared to last year. Having an exceptional and certified teacher in classrooms is a win for our kids.
I wanted to share a personal “Thank You” to Friendly Ford of Crosby. As we worked this summer to finalize childcare plans, we received a huge boost from Austin Salinas and Blake Salinas, the owners of Friendly Ford. The Salinas Family donated $80,000 for student enrichment during our 4-Day Instructional Weeks. We appreciate the support of the Salinas Family, Friendly Ford, and their commitment to the families of Crosby ISD. The money will be used to directly impact our students and our families on Fridays during the year.
The first weekend of August saw our Crosby and Barrett Station communities come together, stronger than ever. I shared the “State of the District” with business leaders, community members, faith leaders, and construction committee members. We discussed the challenges and opportunities for the 2023-2024 School Year. Crosby and Barrett Station are unincorporated communities in Harris County. That means we don’t have a mayor, city council, or public works departments of our own. Crosby ISD takes seriously our role as community advocates, as we are the largest employer in our communities and hold the largest footprint.
As far as district growth, I shared with our community members that there are currently 15 new subdivisions under construction right now within the borders of Crosby ISD. The Board of Trustees and our community construction committee have designated three projects as highest priorities: First, the expansion of Crosby High School; Second, the construction of a second middle school campus, starting with 6th grade capacity and the ability to add 7th and 8th grade; Third, a new elementary school. We are excited about the opportunities and challenges growth will bring, and we are ready to tackle them as we welcome new neighbors.
We had a fantastic time throwing a big party for our families on Saturday, August 5. We celebrated our third annual Back-to- School Bash at Crosby High School, and every year, we see more and more students and families. This year, more than 340 families received free backpacks and free supplies. More than 200 students visited the Harris County Public Library’s bookmobile known as the Curiosity Cruiser, and each child walked away with a free book. We enjoyed community vendors showing their services and selling Cougar Gear! It warmed the heart to see students walk away with free supplies, free backpacks, and everything they need to start the year off on the right foot. We are already thinking of how to throw an even bigger party next year!
I don’t have to tell you that it’s been a hot summer! I must give kudos to our Crosby High School football players and band members. I visited their outdoor practices earlier this month. Let’s all applaud their dedication and commitment to be the best they can be, even during days that reach 100 degrees or more.
This year’s Crosby ISD theme is “Moving Forward.” During the Beginning of the Year Convocation for staff, I shared the message from motivational speaker, Damon West. He grew up in Port Arthur, became a college football star, struggled with addiction, and then almost ended up serving life in a Texas prison. He’s changed his life for the better. West is on a quest to outline a vision of success in life, no matter your circumstances. He shares the story of a boiling pot of water. A person can choose to be one of three things: a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean. When it’s tossed in the boiling water, the carrot will turn soft, mushy, and weak. The egg will congeal and harden. The egg can no longer change or soften. The last item, the coffee bean, literally changes the atmosphere. The coffee bean’s influence is so strong, it transforms the water into coffee. I love West’s message. I have been encouraging Crosby ISD staff to embrace being a coffee bean. We can all change our atmosphere for the better. We can all make a difference in the lives of others. We hope you join Crosby ISD’s mission to change our future, one step forward at a time.
We are Moving Forward! Go Coogs!